Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were good friends of Jesus. He visited in their home and we have one account of a meal he ate with the family.
When Lazarus became ill, the sisters sent word to Jesus, but he didn't come right away. He was in the midst of a most productive work east of the Jordan River in Bethany of Perea. He delayed going to him for two days. He had said that the delay would be for the glory of God and cause the Son of God to be glorified.
After two days he told his disciples they were going to Judaea, but they questioned the wisdom of going because the Jews wanted to stone Jesus. He told them Lazarus was asleep and he wanted to go and wake him up.
The disciples thought it was good that he was sleeping, but then Jesus told them plainly, "Lazarus is dead." He said he was glad he hadn't been there. (He knew what he was going to do and it would strengthen their faith.)
When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed in the house. When Martha saw him she said, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now, whatever you ask of God, he will give it to you."
Jesus said, "Your brother will rise again."
Martha who believed in the resurrection replied, "I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."
Jesus said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me, though he were dead, yet he will live again. And whoever believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"
Martha said, "Yes Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God who is to come into the world."
She went to get Mary, saying to her, "The Master has come and is calling for you." Mary quickly got up and went to him. Those with her thought she was going to the grave to weep.
When Mary saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and repeated the same words Martha had said, "If you had been here my brother would not have died."
When Jesus saw Mary and the others crying he also began to cry with them. Some of them began to say among themselves, "He worked those other miracles and he could have saved Lazarus from dying.
They came to the cave where Lazarus was buried and Jesus ordered the stone rolled away. Martha said, "Lord the smell is going to be bad. He has been dead for four days."
He said, "Didn't I tell you if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" He lifted up his eyes and said, "Father I thank you that you have heard me. I know you always hear me, but I said it for the benefit of those who are standing here, that they may believe."
Then he cried out in a loud voice,"Lazarus, come forth!" And Lazarus came from the tomb, alive and wrapped up in the grave clothes.
Jesus said, "Untie him and let him go."
Later the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus because he was the reason so many people were turning from the Jewish leaders and putting their faith in Jesus.
This is the thirtieth recorded miracle of Jesus.